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Old 15th June 2011, 22:38   #1
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Default Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Not quite the Indian version of Wild Hogs. But still a bachelor roadtrip without wives. Three friends getting together from different parts of the country, 13 years after passing out of B. School. To spend a hectic but fantastic week in Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha. In a vehicle that lived upto its reputation.

I used a D90 and the Nikkor 70-300mm lens for 99% of the pictures. Didn't want to change lenses in the middle of a safari due to dust. As a result, there are less landscape pics and more of the two legged and four legged kind. All pictures are handheld, and many were taken at 1/25-1/30 secs shutter speed due to bad light.

Meanwhile, reposting part of a post from my ownership thread, since this is a better place for it:

...the vehicle carried itself well in 40-50 degree (in the sun) temperature. Went over 3 horrendous potholes in the night, and 3 huge bumps at speed. Also had to avoid 3 stupid dogs trying to cross the road at the last moment, 2 idiotic goats and one crazy human who decided to cross the barrier and drop down with his scooter at night - after seeing that vehicles were approaching. I have read about Fortuner's so called tendency to flip trying the Moose test, but the evasive maneuvers I had to take were pretty similar to the Moose test.

After the bumps and potholes, I was worried about the alignment, but can't feel any misalignment yet. Heard minor squeaks from time to time, but they went away after sometime - so not sure what caused them, or whether they need to be sorted out. Am at 14K+ km now, will do a general checkup when I hit 15K.

Where the Fortuner shone:

1. Highway cruising. I reached Pench at 8 PM starting from Bangalore airport at 4.15 am.
2. Bad roads e.g. the last few kms to Tala in Bandhavgarh
3. Going through an intense squall - I had faced something like that during the famous Mumbai flood. The 4WD came in handy.
4. Having to offroad when we couldn't find the way to the Bandhavgarh resort at 8.30 in the night. There were 3 different dirt trails with depressions where the headlights couldn't reach, and I wasn't too keen to get down and explore each one on foot with a torch because of two reasons:
  • The trails were within 30 feet of the core forest boundary
  • There were two human kills by Bandhavgarh tigers in the last one month - the tigers strayed out and killed villagers (small park, big time man-animal conflict with tigers regularly going out and killing cows etc.). I wasn't sure whether our resort was in those tigers' territories
In the end we went on the wrong trail, couldn't find the way back in the night, and had to go over rough terrain to regain the track and regain mobile signal.

We ambushed this tigress at a stream. Before this shot, she was cooling herself in a pool down the rocks, while we were waiting for her in 45 degree heat in an open gypsy. She decided to show up after we were approaching lobster territory - what a sadist! She is the same tigress pictured above who is carrying the Sambhar kill. Anyway, more on her later.
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-csc_6572.jpg

Pench landscape
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_5553.jpg

A curious fawn...if she were human, she would grow up having longer legs than Sushmita or Deepika.
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_5574.jpg

An soaring vulture
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-csc_5657.jpg

Pondering about these idiotic humans who insisted on hanging around him, making strange clicking noises
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-csc_7373.jpg

She couldn't stand the presence of non-horny guys looking at her
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_5597.jpg

Not sure which eagle this is...doesn't look like a Serpent Eagle (this one has white eyes, while the SE has yellow ones). Can anyone identify this bird?
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_5706.jpg

The Barasingha of Kanha
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_6686.jpg

Egyptian Vultures...was guided to this place by Dr. Abheek Ghosh on or way to Bandhavgarh from Pench. Abheek insisted on stopping here - so glad that we did.
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_5616.jpg

Posturing Gaurs. They almost had a fight regarding whose was bigger than whose. The gypsy had to take a U turn in case they couldn't measure properly, and given there was no 3rd party female Gaur to do comparative assessment. They were tearing up clumps of grass and bushes, but thankfully Bos Gaurus chose not to fight. If they had fought and hit the Gypsy, and then vented their anger on us, all would have been toast...or rather, jelly for toast -without giving me a chance to tell them that my vehicle was christened after them.
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_7663.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-csc_7374.jpg  

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_6940.jpg  

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_5656.jpg  

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_5768.jpg  

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_6774.jpg  

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-csc_6574.jpg  

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_6116.jpg  

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-csc_7368.jpg  

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_7009.jpg  

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_6523.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 19th June 2011 at 13:25. Reason: Adding your travelogue to the opening post itself, so that others dont miss it.
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Old 16th June 2011, 00:06   #2
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Beautiful start ! And I love replying the first always ! Nilanjan, you might want to keep this in Assembly line and get it in one shot? Or better off doing piece by piece?
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Old 16th June 2011, 00:40   #3
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Great beginning. Am sure this one is gonna be one super ride. Looking forward to some great pictures.
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Old 16th June 2011, 01:17   #4
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Amazing pictures Nilanjan. If you could share more details of the trip and loads more of pictures pls
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Old 16th June 2011, 05:23   #5
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Here it is, i was waiting for this TL from you. Wow lovely pictures (The Tiger one is awesome) waiting for more.
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Old 16th June 2011, 07:26   #6
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Great start Nilanjan. Would be following the thread not only for the wild life snaps but also for the Fortuner.

I can imagine the fun you guys must have had travelling together after 13 years.
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Old 16th June 2011, 07:42   #7
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Man, I missed this and you really rubbing it in eh? The pic of the tiger dragging its kill is amazing! Waiting for the rest...
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Old 16th June 2011, 08:06   #8
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Lovely pictures. Mesmerised by the "wise" owl and waiting for the full details of bachelor trip.
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Old 16th June 2011, 09:28   #9
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

I am dumb stuck, I was just waiting for you to start off this thread.

Now I'm hooked. Keep em coming.
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Old 16th June 2011, 09:30   #10
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Lovely pictures. Mesmerised by the "wise" owl and waiting for the full details of bachelor trip.
That owl is always there in the same spot as if to greet visitors in Kanha. It looks very cute. Here is the picture of it we had taken when we were there in March.

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-58.jpg

Hey, Nilanjan, you are lucky to get awesome sightng of tiger. Waiting for more.
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Old 16th June 2011, 09:35   #11
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Brilliant pics there! The pic with the Tiger and it's prey is simply superb!

Not to mention, I am hooked to this one, keep 'em coming.
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Old 16th June 2011, 10:14   #12
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
That owl is always there in the same spot as if to greet visitors in Kanha. It looks very cute. Here is the picture of it we had taken when we were there in March.
Fauji Sir, earlier there were four to five owl used to nest there. Now only one. While at Kanha, One of our guide said, Sir this owl keeps a watch on vehicles and counts. That was really funny. I have seen a photographs of five/six owl in the same nest.

@ Nilanjan Sir, Superb photography. Keep them coming.

TFS!

Last edited by benbsb29 : 17th June 2011 at 04:39. Reason: Fixed broken quote tag.
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Old 16th June 2011, 10:24   #13
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subrat Seet View Post

Fauji Sir, earlier there were four to five owl used to nest there. Now only one. While at Kanha, One of our guide said, Sir this owl keeps a watch on vehicles and counts. That was really funny. I have seen a photographs of five/six owl in the same nest.
Yes Subrat, i too heard these commenst from our guide which was cool. These owls just doesn't stir a bit and they seem be in meditation through out the day!!
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Old 16th June 2011, 12:09   #14
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Wow! thats a great start!
The tiger pics are so special
Hoping for more wonderful pics and details about the trip.
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Old 16th June 2011, 12:22   #15
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Default re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner

Great photographs, Nilanjan. Awaiting for more updates! ... Which camera you used for this trip?
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